Appraisal of nuclear waste isolation in the vadose zone in arid and semiarid regions (with emphasis on the Nevada Test Site)

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An appraisal was made of the concept of isolating high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone of alluvial-filled valleys and tuffaceous rocks of the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Principal attributes of these terranes are: (1) low population density, (2) low moisture influx, (3) a deep water table, (4) the presence of sorptive rocks, and (5) relative ease of construction. Concerns about heat effects of waste on unsaturated rocks of relatively low thermal conductivity are considered. Calculations show that a standard 2000-acre repository with a thermal loading of 40 kW/acre in partially saturated alluvium or tuff would experience an average ... continued below

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135 p.

Creation Information

Wollenberg, H.A.; Wang, J.S.Y. & Korbin, G. May 1, 1983.

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Description

An appraisal was made of the concept of isolating high-level radioactive waste in the vadose zone of alluvial-filled valleys and tuffaceous rocks of the Basin and Range geomorphic province. Principal attributes of these terranes are: (1) low population density, (2) low moisture influx, (3) a deep water table, (4) the presence of sorptive rocks, and (5) relative ease of construction. Concerns about heat effects of waste on unsaturated rocks of relatively low thermal conductivity are considered. Calculations show that a standard 2000-acre repository with a thermal loading of 40 kW/acre in partially saturated alluvium or tuff would experience an average temperature rise of less than 100{sup 0}C above the initial temperature. The actual maximum temperature would depend strongly on the emplacement geometry. Concerns about seismicity, volcanism, and future climatic change are also mitigated. The conclusion reached in this appraisal is that unsaturated zones in alluvium and tuff of arid regions should be investigated as comprehensively as other geologic settings considered to be potential repository sites.

Physical Description

135 p.

Notes

NTIS, PC A07/MF A01; OSTI as DE84001066

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  • Other Information: PBD: May 1983

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  • Other: DE84001066
  • Report No.: LBL--15010
  • Grant Number: AC03-76SF00098
  • DOI: 10.2172/60301 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 60301
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc693363

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  • May 1, 1983

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  • Aug. 14, 2015, 8:43 a.m.

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  • April 4, 2016, 9:04 p.m.

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Wollenberg, H.A.; Wang, J.S.Y. & Korbin, G. Appraisal of nuclear waste isolation in the vadose zone in arid and semiarid regions (with emphasis on the Nevada Test Site), report, May 1, 1983; California. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc693363/: accessed August 20, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.